Nicholson On Sale!

Chris reported 2 days ago that a reprint of Peter Nicholson’s book (known by many titles including) "The Mechanic’s Companion" has gone on sale here.   This hit me like a ton of bricks.  In a strange coincidence,  I uncovered a scathing contemporary review (excerpt below) of Nicholson’s text in a period newspaper I purchased last Friday evening.  Those of us familair with Nicholson’s wordy tome, know that it is a pretentious plagarization of Moxon’s far better (earlier) text.  This is made clearest by finding the one subject that no two woodworkers can agree upon and comparing the two texts:


"When you grind your Iron, place your two Thumbs under the Iron, and your Fingers of both Hands upon the Iron, and fo clap down your Iron to the Stone, holding it to that Angle with the Stone you intend the Basil fhall have:…"

Nicholson (rip-off):

"When you grind the iron, place your two thumbs under it, and the fingers of both hands above, laying the basil to the stone, and holding it to the angle you intend it shall make with the steel side of it…"

Similar?  I think so. 

The period review appeared as follows:

"…Nicholson offers no new material (based on the above, I agree), relying heavily upon an earlier similarly titled text by Joseph Moxon..{this area of the text was illegible due to damage by malt vinegar}..but this new book is not entirely without merit.  Most appreciated are the subtle additions and corrections including the correction of the spelling of the word "Mechanic" and the removal of the superfluous letter f’s which frustrate all of those who do not share the previous author’s lisp."

 Personally, I don’t feel the spelling errors warrant the absorbitant price of this unneccessary reprint by "Greedy Gary" Roberts at "Moreatoolsformea" press .  At $26.95, I’m going to continue using Moxon as the only English language woodworking text dating to my period of interest.


P.S.  I offer my sincerest apologies for missing you all on April 1st and not writing you often enough.  I’ll offer my thoughts on this text in an upcoming blog post!

8 thoughts on “Nicholson On Sale!

      1. Gary Roberts

        What would the world be without a bit of maligning here and there.


        PS: watch for the newspaper wrapped dead fish in your bed sometime this week. Nothing personal, I just have to maintain my NYC reputation.

        1. Adam CherubiniAdam Cherubini Post author

          OMG, is there a real review? I didn’t know. Glad you picked up on my typical Lenten supper!


        2. Adam CherubiniAdam Cherubini Post author

          Oh, I always thought Smith’s Key was an excellent companion text. With so much interest in tool making and period tools, any chance you could do a reprint of that? Copies aren’t easy to come by.


  1. Mark Maleski

    Ha! I fell for it Adam. My April Fool’s radar was shut down for scheduled maintenance.

    1. Adam CherubiniAdam Cherubini Post author

      For shame, Mark. Dis Gary AND Nicholson? Me thinks not.

      Giddy to have caught someone out!


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